Images flicker in forms in Access database

Copper Contributor

I have a fairly basic database in Access for a collection of antiques, which includes photographs. When loading in the forms I've created, the images flicker (just once, but it is every photo that does it). The images are .jpg files and not large so the database is not bloated. 

While Access provides an easy option to include images in tables, the advice has been "storing images within the database is not recommended".  I have to be able to give a copy of the database to another person so I need everything contained within the database.

I've been round the general Community and MS support, and there doesn't seem to be a fix for this.  MS Support suggested I raise this issue in this Tech Community.

6 Replies



To be honest, the discussion you had with Scott on Microsoft Answers is probably the most insightful feedback available, short of having a consultant work directly with your accdb in your environment. 


I agree with his suggestion that you NOT embed the images inside the accdb. The resulting bloat has been the demise of many projects over the years. Depending on how many there are and how big they are, you may be able to get away with it for some time. I understand you feel that is the only option open to you, but it is definitely not a good one if you can develop an alternative.


One thing you did not cover with Scott is whether this problem is in a single view or a continuous view form. I'm guessing continuous view from the context. If so, I see no way around the problem without doing some intense interface manipulation, and that is something I don't even know is actually possible. 

If you want to share a copy of the accdb here, though, someone might be able to take a look and try to identify alternatives to help.



@George Hepworth Thank you!  And yes, it is a continuous view form.  The answer seems to be that despite having the feature in Access, it doesn't work to use the attachments option when building the database, forms, etc.  Or we need to move away from Access entirely....  Thanks for taking the time to answer.  I was hopeful of a solution but looks like it isn't possible.



I'm sure the problem is more obvious because the form is in continuous view. Each single visible record has to retrieve and display its own image, and that takes just that much longer to render on a monitor and that results in the flicker you see as they are sequentially rendered and displayed. It's as much a resource problem as it is an "Access problem" in that sense.


If this is a deal breaker for your application, i.e. if the ability to store images internally and render multiple images simultaneously on a continuous view form are both crucial to its success, I understand the frustration, but I simply don't know of an alternative application that does both data and image manipulation at this level. 


I wonder how this experience might compare to a web site, for example? One that displays multiple images on a single screen? Things like real estate sites showing multiple properties, for example. I seem to recall that occasionally can be a similar experience, although it tends to be more along the lines of one image loading at a time, not flickering of loaded images. What has your experience been?


This may not be a realistic solution, but one thing that occurred to me as a work around could be to preload this form as a hidden form, thus allowing the images to settle. Then you could make it visible when you need it, rather than opening and closing it over and over. 

Hi @tsgiannis, thank you so much for this. I am sorry for the later response - I found an interim solution was simply to use a report build and was working on that for a deadline - but I'm looking at your article and will let you know!


Have a look at my free Folder Image Viewer app

This includes 3 different forms to display a group of images (single, continuous & web browser) together with a report. Any supported image format can be used e.g. PNG, GIF, JPG etc

The images are all stored externally - there is no noticeable flicker unless the file sizes are very large